Flightglobal should have published this Boeing 787 in-service report about 18 months ago.
That would have been about 18 months into the type's service life – a period Flightglobal has traditionally regarded as long enough for a new aircraft to be over normal teething problems, and thus a good time to report in detail on what operators are thinking about the type.
But in the case of the 787, 18 months after launch customer All Nippon Airways began revenue service with a charter flight from Tokyo Narita to Hong Kong was April 2013 – and the entire fleet was grounded while Boeing scrambled to resolve lithium-ion battery problems. As a result, it has taken until now to bring together a balanced view of operators’ experience with an aircraft type that has been as troubled as it is technically ambitious.
To prepare this assessment of a programme that has seen an unusually large measure of anticipation, criticism and praise, Flightglobal dispatched five correspondents to visit operators on three different continents – including several of the earliest customers with the most experience operating the 787-8.
In summary, the 787-8 operators we interviewed are satisfied with the overall performance of the aircraft, but frustrated by lingering teething issues and sub-par reliability levels. For the full picture, check out our dedicated 787 in-service report page.